Santiago vents ire at media for seeking her reaction
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago should take a psychological exam before she sits in the International Criminal Court (ICC), a critic said Tuesday.
Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre, who drew the ire of Santiago for covering his ears during one of the senator's outbursts at the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona, said the Philippines could lose face if Santiago is allowed to sit as an ICC judge.
Aguirre, who is supporting an online petition against Santiago at the ICC, said the senator should not be allowed to go ballistic again at the international court based in The Hague in the Netherlands.
"Why doesn't she take a psychological test? A neuro test? Para malaman natin na talagang hindi na niya gagawin ang mga ginawa niya sa impeachment court," the former prosecution team lawyer said.
He cited Santago's expletive-laden speech when the Senate handed its decision on the Corona case.
"It's a megalomaniac attitude. Ang tingin niya sa ibang tao ay napakababa at siya lang ang napakataas pero hindi naman totoo iyun," Aguirre said. "Iyung pinagdadadaldal niya doon, andaming mali."
He is also wondering why Malacañang continues to support Santiago.
Miriam blasts media
Santiago on Tuesday downplayed Aguirre's statement.
"I'm not going to comment on that. That's insulting to us, things like those. You know very well that that is meant to discredit me as a senator who voted for acquittal," she said.
However, she suddenly stood up from her seat at the Senate session hall and called for a press conference.
She went looking for an ABS-CBN News team and vented her ire on them.
"Sinuhulan ka ba? Eh alam na alam kong... pakiusap ko lang sa media, no? Kung nakargahan kayo, puwede ba huwag niyo na lang akong isama," she claimed.
Miriam scolded journalists whom she accused of allowing themselves to be used by her "enemies."
"At ikaw naman, Mr. Niko Baua, pinapahiram mo ang sarili mo na gagamitin ka ng taong iyon. What conclusion do you think I will reach as an intelligent person?" she said
She said media should focus on her work as a senator and not at criticisms against her.
"I appeal to you. Will you please be fair to me? You know there is a black propaganda campaign against me. Please don't ask me anymore," she said.
Santiago quickly ended the press conference.
She is now waiting for the ICC to advise her on when she will start to join court deliberations.
Lawyer Harry Roque, meanwhile, said the petition opposing Santiago at the ICC may have come too late.
He was among those who recommended that the senator be chosen as an ICC judge.
Roque, a member of the Council of the International Criminal Bar (CICB), said he was also dismayed with Santiago's angry outbursts during the Corona impeachment trial.
He said such actions are unaccaptable to the CICB.
He said he only hopes that Santiago will be able to fulfill his duty well as the first Filipino judge at the ICC.
The ICC's Fadi El Abdallah declined to comment on the issue.
"I am sorry, but the International Criminal Court can not comment on this issue. Judges are elected by the Assembly of States parties, and any information or reconsideration should be submitted and considered only by this Assembly," El Abdallah said in a statement to ABS-CBN News. - reports from Niko Baua and Jenny Reyes, ABS-CBN News